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Business & Economics

Tanka Fund Jerky Bar Thunders Into Pow Wow

Courtesy Native American Natural Foods

A Native American business located on the Pine Ridge Reservation is introducing a new product this weekend at the Black Hills Pow Wow in Rapid City. The Tanka Fund Bar is intended to not only be a healthy snack, but a means of bringing the buffalo back to Native Americans.

It’s been 7 years since Native American Natural Foods introduced the Tanka Bar at the Black Hills Pow Wow. Since then, sales of the all-natural, buffalo and cranberry snack bar have expanded to over 6000 locations in all 50 states while the Tank Bar and has become the number one meat snack in the country.

But with a need for more buffalo producers in Indian Country, Native American Natural Foods joined with the Indian Land Tenure Foundation to create the Tanka Fund. The goal of the charitable fund is to support programs and activities that help return buffalo to the Great Plains and bring renewed health and opportunity to American Indian communities.

Credit Courtesy Native American Natural Foods
Native American Natural Foods CEO Karlene Hunter

Karlene Hunter is the CEO of Native American Natural Foods. She says the Tanka Fund jerky bar was developed to make the point that Native American Natural Foods cannot source all of its meat from Native buffalo producers.

“It’s made from buffalo and turkey,” explains Hunter. “And the reason being because the demand for buffalo is so high now…that we don’t want to run into a shortage. So we mixed it with turkey to emphasize that point.”

Native American Natural Foods will contribute ten percent of all Tanka Fund bar sales to help return buffalo to the lands, lives and economies of American Indians.

The Tanka Fund bar is scheduled to be available at retailers in November to coincide with Native American Heritage Month.